Patrice Riemens on Tue, 17 Mar 2009 10:12:06 -0400 (EDT)

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<nettime> "The Nine of Tarnac": Confronted by an absurd state power, we shall speak no more...

Re: Google: Sorry folks, a political ambulance came by...

Confronted by an ever more absurd state power, we shall speak no more
LE MONDE | 16.03.09  bwo Multitudes-infos list/ Frederic Neyrat

For four month now, the legal & media spectacle titled "The Tarnac    
affair" won't come to an end. Was Julien Coupat to come out of prison 
for Christmas? For New Year's Eve then? Or would Friday the 13th be   
his lucky day? No. In the end 'we' will keep him a bit longer in      
jail, locked into his new role as 'leader of an invisible cell'.      

Since a few people in power appear to have an interest in letting     
this charade go on, even beyond the limits of the grotesque, for the  
sake of collective clarification, we will have to take once more the  
garb that has been knit for us ("the 9 from Tarnac").                 

Well then.

Firstly. As journos were burrowing into our garbage cans, the cops
were fingering our assholes. Not the funniest of experience. For
months you have been opening our mail, eavesdropping our phones,
harassing our friends and video-tapping our homes. And you delectate
in these actions.

We, the 'nine', we endure them, like so many others. We have been
atomised by judicial procedures, nine times one single individual,
whereas you are one administration, one police force, and the one and
whole logic of one system. As we stand now, we have been double-dealt,
and the stake is already erected. So please don't expect us to play

Secondly. Of course you do desperately need 'individual suspects'
making up 'cells' belonging to a 'movement' relating to a certain
'fraction' on the political chessboard. You need all this, because
it constitutes your last and only handle on an increasing part of
reality, which cannot be longer reduced to 'the society' you pretend
to protect. You are right, there is something happening in France,
but it is definitely not the rebirth of the 'ultra left' [*N1]. We
are merely symbol people, a, rather rustic, crystallisation of the
conflict that criss-crosses our times. The media-police edge of
a ruthless conflict opposing an order that is collapsing against
everything and anyone who dares pretend to survive it.

It is rather obvious that when looking at what is going in Guadeloupe,
Martinique [*N2], in the banlieues (big cities suburbs) and in the
universities, among the wine-growers, the fishermen, the railway
workers and the sans-papiers (undocumented immigrants), you will
soon need more judges than teachers to control the mess. You don't
get it - and don't bank on the sleuths of DCRI (French home security
intelligence service) to enlighten you - they're just as clueless.
Thirdly.  We can but notice that there is much more joy in our friendships 
and our 'company of miscreants' than in your offices and court houses. 

Fourthly. Whereas it would appear entirely appropriate to you,        
given the seriousness of your employ, to question us regarding our    
political thoughts and our friendships, for us, we do not feel like   
a duty to talk to you about these matters. No life will ever be       
entirely transparent to the State and its judicial apparatus. You     
wanted to shed some light on certain things? You have rather managed  
to spread obscurity. And as rumour has reached us, in order to escape 
your glance, the numbers are growing of those who go to demos without 
mobile phones, who encrypt their messages, and who take the long      
winding way home to reach their homes. As the saying goes: makes      

Fifthly. From the start of this "affair", you appear to have          
deliberately given great credence to the statements of a mythomaniac  
witness, heard under the cover of anonymity. And you persist, a brave 
stand we admit, to somehow believe this heap of lies, reviving a      
practice, delation, that 'honoured' France a few scores of years ago  
[*N3]. It would be almost moving, if this did not mainly frame the    
prosecution of Julien Coupat, and hence his ongoing detention. And as 
if this kind of 'witness statement' was necessary to make arbitrary   
arrests, like in Villiers-le Bel (Paris suburb) after the riots       

And finally. Given the fact that the margin of liberty left to us is
henceforth rather limited, and that the only moments we can escape
your clutches are actually the ones in which you subject us to
questioning, what you do regularly; And that Julien Coupat has now for
the fourth time seen his request for release denied; And that he is
our friend; And that he is no more than we are: We are to state that
from this day onwards, following the heroic tradition of Bartleby, "we
would rather not". Meaning roughly: That we will speak no more till
you liberate him, that you abandon the qualification of 'leader' for
him, and of 'terrorists' for us all. In one word, that you drop the
whole case.

For all those, wherever they are, fight and do not resign. For all
those who are not suffocated by resentment, and make joy their line of
offensive. For our friends, our children, our brothers and sisters,
and the support committee. Have no fear, harbour no commiseration.
We are not heroes, we are not martyrs. It is precisely because this
'affair' had no legal standing from its very inception that we need to
bring the conflict in the realm of politics. What the ever increasing
number of attacks launched against us by an ever more absurd political
power calls for is a generalisation of collective practices of
self-defense everywhere where it becomes a necessity.

There are no nine people to be saved. There is a regime to be felled.

Aria, Benjamin, Bertrand, Elsa, Gabrielle, Manon, Matthieu, Yldune
are, together with Julien Coupat, indicted in what has become known as
"The Tarnac Affair".

'Q 'n' D' translation by Patrice Riemens
Bangalore, St Patrick's Day, 2009 

Translator's notes

[*N1] "Ultra-gauche" in French. A neologism of sorts coined by
interior minister Michelle Alliot-Marie in a bid to distinguish
it from traditional extreme left ('extreme gauche) of old. The
'ultra gauche' was deemed to be 'anarchist', 'autonomous' and, of
course 'violent'. The '9 of Tarnac' were arrested and lengthily
detained after a number of sabotages of hi-speed ('TGV') train lines
last autumn, which have not at all been elucidated yet, let alone
materially linked to 'the 9'.

[*N2] Add Reunion to the list. The French 'overseas departments' in
the Carraibic and the Indian Ocean are boiling at the moment, as the
chickens come home to roost after years of a colonialism without
name, an artificial 'motherland'-oriented economy, ill-mitigated by
a pretense of welfare and a reality of increasingly unmanageable
clientelist hand-outs culture.

[*N3] Authors refer to the collaborationist (with the Nazis)          
government of Vichy France (1940-45) where the 'citoyens' engaged in  
settling their private scores with their neighbours by denouncing     
them to the regime's police or the Gestapo with gay abandon. Official 
France long time choose to and still would rather like forget this    
unsavoury page of history.                                            

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